Red, our Friendly New Hampshire Hen

We have a three-year-old New Hampshire hen affectionately named “Red” since she’s so red she’s often mistaken for a Rhode Island Red. She has always been friendly, affectionate and curious. And, she loves to be with her “family.” So, it’s really no surprise what this clever chicken has come up with to visit us on HER terms. Plus, we humans are such suckers, that Red even gets special treats for this behavior.

First and foremost, Red is a backyard chicken. This, by no means, confines her. She lives in a huge fenced yard on 13 acres. She’s got plenty of room to roam. But, this is not enough for Red. Her biggest wish is to hang out by our side stoop and ravage the small garden we have planted there and then come inside our house to say “hi.”

Here’s how it works. Red flies over our backyard fence; sometimes at great peril as she’s a large chicken and her flying isn’t graceful. In fact, she’s just getting over a hurt leg from performing this trick. Then she meanders around the house to the stoop garden. There she revels in picking through all of our mulch to find the tastiest bugs. (Apparently, they taste better in the front of the house where every guest can see the mess that Red makes.) Then, she hops up on our steps and “yells” at the top of her lungs until someone notices her.

This is where we humans make a mistake that keeps this behavior going; but it’s really cute! We open the door and Red comes strolling into our mud room. (Thank goodness the floor is tiled so it’s easy to clean.) It’s hilarious to watch her since she’s very regal as she walks in with her head high and looking from side to side. Nothing deters her, not the dog or cats. She then strolls over to the dog’s crate and starts to drink from the water bowl and we give her treats. Usually it’s whatever we have on hand; bread, crackers, even cat food. After she’s done, we carry her through the garage and deposit her with her flock in her proper place; the backyard.

The human Red likes to visit best is my husband. One day he was working from home and was on the phone with a client. I heard Red at the door but couldn’t get there in time. I thought she just gave up and went to the backyard when I heard some loud squawking from outside our bedroom window. It turns out; Red heard my husband on the phone in our bedroom and decided since I had ignored her, she was going to try another tactic. And, sure enough, when my husband got off the phone, Red ran straight to the stoop door.

Thankfully, she doesn’t do this every day; although some days she does it over and over. She’s got food, water, treats and room to roam in the backyard, so this doesn’t have anything to do with basic needs. I think she likes her treats and she likes her people peeps!
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